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School pupils enjoy a Kickstart at SRUC


School pupils from schools across the south east and south west of Scotland enjoyed a day of interactive workshops at the  Edinburgh campus of Scotland’s Rural College (SRUC).

The Kickstart summer school is a 5 day-long initiative aimed at S5 and S6 school pupils who have a potential interest in pursuing study at a Higher Education Institution. The programme is a collaborative event between SRUC, Queen Margaret University, Edinburgh Napier University and The University of Edinburgh and this year ran from July 10th – 14th.

During the week, pupils from state schools across Edinburgh and Lothians and Dumfries and Galloway attended a number of academic workshops across a wide range of disciplines.

This year, SRUC hosted four workshops that covered a variety of subject areas. The Horticulture team invited pupils to ‘Touch Down Planet Zorg” with the mission to catalogue plants that can support human life and equip them with skills and techniques to identify different plant life.

A quick-fire Garden Design session was hosted in SRUC’s Garden Design studio. After a brief introduction to some basic Garden Design principles, pupils got to design a number of gardens in different styles and to different themes.

Dr Jennifer Carfrae ran a workshop on how to assess water quality using water invertebrates as a biological index. Pupils were given water samples from two different streams and had to identify whether one body of water was more polluted than the other.

A workshop on how animal behaviour and technology can help identify disease and poor welfare in livestock was hosted by Dr Carol Thompson. Pupils got get busy in the lab looking at milk samples from dairy cows to test for infection.

The week concluded with a graduation ceremony at the Edinburgh Napier campus at Craiglockhart where students received a certificate to state they had completed their Kickstart week.

Anouska Curzon, Marketing and Student Recruitment Officer at SRUC Edinburgh, said: “Kickstart is a fantastic opportunity for school pupils to experience university life in a fun and interactive way. I feel the week was a success and the pupils really engaged with the workshops offered at SRUC.”

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